- Program List
Below are many of the more than 170 five-hour 'weeks' of Exploring Music that have been created since 2003. The first seven minutes of every program are free to sample. Several entire 5-hour programs are also free to listen (marked 'free' below). For complete access to all of the shows, click here to become a subscriber. To sort through the shows by composers click here. To see the playlist for a given show, click on the show and then on the 'playlist' button beneath any of the five one-hour programs.
AAmerican Masters, Part IAmerican Masters, Part II American Masters, Part IIIAmerican Masters, Part IVAmerican Masters, Part V An Intelligent Conversation: String Quartets Arias & BarcarollesArtists in Exile, Part IArtists in Exile, Part IIAutumn Leaves Autumnal Masterpieces BBach Sleeps in on Sundays Bach to Beethoven Bach's Christmas OratorioBach's Not-So-Minor B-Minor MassBallad of East and West Barber, SamuelBartok, BelaBeethoven & that Danged Metronome (FREE)Beethoven and the PianoBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IBeethoven at Parnassus, Part IIBeethoven QuartetsBerlioz, HectorBernstein, LeonardBill's Keepers Boulanger, NadiaBrahms, Johannes, Part IBrahms, Johannes, Part II Britten, Benjamin CCall for ScoresCello Concertos Child's PlayChopin, FredericClash of the Titans Clowning AroundCopland, AaronCorigliano, JohnCzech out those Bohemians DDebussy, ClaudeDemons, Spooks and Other Things That Go Bump in the NightDirector's ChoiceDistant NeighborsDon't Shoot the Piano PlayerDvorak, AntoninDvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin String Quartets EElgar, EdwardEmotion and Meaning in MusicEspanaFFamilies of Instruments Family MattersFauré, GabrielFit for a KingFour SeasonsFrom This Mighty River: Music of the Children of J.S BachGGame of Pairs, Part I Game of Pairs, Part IIGershwin, GeorgeGet the PictureGitana: Gypsy Music and Its Influences Green and Pleasant LandHHandel, George FridericHaydn and Mozart QuartetsHaydn SymphoniesHidden Gold, Part IHHidden Gold, Part IIHindemith, PaulHit or Myth Holiday CelebrationHomageII Didn't Know About YouI Hear a Rhapsody (FREE)I Hear America SingingI Lost it at the Movies (FREE)In a Family WayIncidentally SpeakingIntimate VoicesInvitation to the Dance, Part I Invitation to the Dance, Part II Invitation to the Dance, Part IIIIt Takes Two to TangoIt Was a Lover and His Lass Italian SouvenirsJJanacek, LeosLLatin CarnivalLes SixLife Among the Dead: Requiem MassesListener's Choice, Part IIListener's Choice, Part IIILiszt, Franz Little Traveling Music, Please MMaestro, Part IMaestro, Part IIMagnificent MagyarsMahler, Gustav, Part IMahler, Gustav, Part IIMaiden VoyagesMendelssohn, FelixMendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms String QuartetsMerrie EnglandMozart at his Zenith Mozart Piano ConcertosMozart's Birthday BashMozart: Bright Lights, Big CityMusic for the MassesMusic in the Time of WarMusic of Scandinavia (FREE)Musical Cryptograms NNationalismNew Releases, Part IINew Releases, Part III, week 1 of 2New Releases, Part III, week 2 of 2 New Wine in Old Bottles Nielsen, CarlNinth SymphoniesNobody Ever Builds a Statue to a CriticOOrpheus in the New World Outward BoundPPastoral SymphoniesPiano ConcertosPolandPortraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part I Portraits in Black, Brown, & Beige, Part II Poulenc, FrancisProkofiev, SergeiProud Tower, Part IProud Tower, Part IIRRachmaninoff, SergeiRavel, Maurice Respighi, OttorinoRRimsky-Korsakov and His PupilsRoaring 20'sRussian Five: The Mighty HandfulSSchool DaysSchubert String QuartetsSchubertiade, Part ISchubertiade, Part IISchuman, WilliamSchumann, Robert Shakespeare Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part I (FREE)Shostakovich, Dmitri, Part IISibelius and GriegSlipped Through the Cracks Sounds of the City of Lights SoundtracksSpanish SchoolSpring is Here St-Saëns, Camille St. Matthew PassionStrauss, RichardStravinsky, Igor String Quartets from Fibich to SibeliusStrings Plus OneSweet Home Chicago Symphony, Part 01Symphony, Part 02 Symphony, Part 03 Symphony, Part 04Symphony, Part 05 Symphony, Part 06 (French)Symphony, Part 07 (Russian)Symphony, Part 08 Symphony, Part 09Symphony, Part 10TTchaikovsky, Peter, Part ITchaikovsky, Peter, Part IIThe Big Five, Part I: Chicago Symphony OrchestraThe Big Five, Part I: New York PhilharmonicThe Big Five, Part II: New York PhilharmonicThrough the Mail SlotTone Poems Too Darn BigTriple PlayTudor MusicTwo Very Different Worlds Delius and HolstUUnder the Hood, Part IUnder the Hood, Part IIUnfinished SymphoniesVVariationsVaughan Williams, RalphVeniceVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IVerdi, Giuseppe, Part IIVienna, Part IVienna, Part II (FREE)ViolaViolin Concerto Voices from the East WWagner's Ring CycleWagner, RichardWalton, WilliamWater MusicWhat Else Ya Got?Wind QuintetsWunderkinder, Part IWunderkinder, Part IIYYou and the Night and the Music
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Nationalism Purchase Now
Nationalism on its own is a dangerous force, but it has led to a number of
wonderful bits of music. This edition of Exploring Music examines what
happens when a powerful pride in national identity winds its way
into a composer's head.
Monday: Poles, Czechs and Rumanians
Friday: From Russia to Albion
We begin with a thundering Polonaise in A No. 1, "Military", the work of Polish composer Chopin and a sort of unofficial anthem during the Second World War. Next are the second and third of Chopin's Mazurkas, a more mysterious set of quintessentially-sounding Polish tunes. Next we move to the southwest, to Bohemia, in what is now the Czech Republic, and we hear two Furiants of Smetana--one from Czech Dances, one from The Bartered Bride. Next is Dvorák trying his hand at the same dance form as part of Slavonic Dances. We hear Nos. 8 and 10. Next, we stay Czech, but turn to Moravia to hear from Janácek. This piece, Taras Bulba, was written in the hopes that the Russians would defat the Germans, whom they were at war with at the time, so that they would then advance and drive the Austrians out of Moravia. We hear a large excerpt from this piece. Finally, we close out the segment by visiting Romania and hearing Enescu's Romanian Rhapsody No. 1. Compared to the other pieces we have heard in this segment, this one is relievedly cheerful.
Chopin: Polonaise in A, Op. 40 No. 1, Military
Chopin: Mazurkas Op. 17 No. 2 & Op. 33 No. 3
Smetana: Czech Dances- Furiant
Smetana: Furiant fr. The Bartered Bride
Dvorák: Slavonic Dances Op. 46 No. 8 & Op. 72 No. 10
Janácek: Taras Bulba (excerpt)
Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Davis
Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
London Symphony Orchesta/Previn
In this segment, we look at Hungary in particular, but we start with a pair of very German sounding pieces. After a short excerpt from Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor, we then listen to Liszt's quite popular Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. This demonstrates just how enthralling Hungarian music can be, even if it isn't being utilized by a Hungarian native. But Hungary has produced its fair share of composers, so we give some of them a listen as well, starting with Dohnányi's Ruralia Hungarica. This is a piece based on Hungarian folk songs, something common not only in what we will hear in this segment but also in nationalistic music as a whole, as composers travel throughout the countryside in order to gain a sense of what the real national identity is as opposed to what's going on at a conservatory. The same sort of idea was explored by Bartók, and we hear Nos. 1, 2, and 5 of his Hungarian Sketches, which arguably has a stronger Hungarian flavor than what we heard of Ruralia Hungarica. We then hear a sprightly Kodály piece, Dances of Galanta, and then close out the segment with a last little bit of Ruralia Hungarica.
Brahms: Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G Minor
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Dohnányi: Ruralia Hungarica, I
West Australian Symphony/Mester
Bartók: Hungarian Sketches Nos. 1, 2 & 5
Kodály: Dances of Galanta
Dohnányi: Ruralia Hungarica, No. 6
Heifitz, v.; Sandor, p.
In this segment, we find ourselves in France, and since there is a vast wealth of French composers, we're going to focus in on just three of them that aren't heard as much as some others. We start with Bizet's L'alesienne, hearing a few pieces of it at a time. We then move onto Canteloube, with several excerpts from Songs of the Auvergne. We then close out with a delightful wind quintet by Milhaud: La cheminée du roi René.
This segment begins with an arrangement of the folk tune "Folkdance from the Hills" by Grieg, a Norwegian composer who, like other composers we have previously heard, composed pieces based on folk songs and fiddle tunes from Norwegian towns. His interest in folky material was cultivated by a discovery of his heritage; Grieg, like many middle-class Norwegians, spoke Danish growing up, since Norwegian was a poor-person's language. We hear more examples of his journey into his heritage by taking a glance through a few excerpts from his Lyric Pieces, all of which evoke various moods and settings throughout Norwegian tradition. We finish up Grieg with a lovely song written for his wife, "The Singing". Next we move down south to Denmark, to hear music of Nielsen. We start with his Symphony No. 3, second movement, a wonderfully calm piece, and then more to his Symphony No. 4, fourth movement, a much more dramatic piece. We finish the segment off in Finland, with Sibelius, who wrote pieces that defined the Finnish struggle for independence and identity. We hear the first part of his Lenninkäinen Legends.
Trad., arr. Grieg: Folkdance from the Hills
Buen, Hardinger Fiddle
Grieg: Lyric Pieces (excerpts)
2:19, 2:51, 3:43, 1:44
Grieg: The Singing
Hirsti, s.; Jansen, p.
Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, II
Royal Danish Orchestra/Berglund
Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, IV
Swedish Radio Symphony/Salonen
Sibelius: Lenninkäinen Legends, I
The segment starts, rather suddenly, in Russia, with Mussorgsky's Prelude to Kohvanshina, a piece that depicts the sunrise over the Kremlin. Much like a number of Mussorgsky's work, Kohvanshina was left unfinished by Mussorgsky and had to be completed by his friend, Rimsky-Korsakov. But Rimsky-Korsakov had a number of great works of his own, and we hear a big one: the Russian Easter Overture. Next, we move clear to the other side of Europe and hear some British music, first from Vaughan Williams. Despite studying with the French composer Ravel, Vaughan Williams was encouraged to have his own sound, and so he did. We hear his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, which he composed shortly after returning from France. Next is a quirky collection of folk songs put together by Grainger for wind band, the Lincolnshire Posey. Grainger, an Australian, walked around the region of Lincolnshire carrying an elaborate recording machine and collecting folk songs. He would then write them as he heard them, keeping odd time changes from how the songs were performed. Before we end the program, we hear a short Vaughan Williams tune: "The Could Capp'd Towers", from Three Shakespeare Songs.
Mussorgsky: Prelude to Kohvanshina
Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
New York Phil/Temirkanov
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
Grainger: Lincolnshire Posey
Eastman Wind Ensemble/Fennell
Vaughan Williams: “The Could Capp’d Towers” fr. Three Shakespeare Songs